E.U. Foreign Policy Chief Questions Relations with U.S.*
By Ian Greenhalgh
European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has criticized the “unpredictable” US foreign policy under Donald Trump, and says the E.U. can become the main international partner of Russia, India and China.
During a Q & A during a State of the Union conference in Florence, the E.U.’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs was asked if Trump’s “unpredictability” has given him an advantage in dealing with North Korea’s volatility.
“Sometimes you can play with unpredictability and predictability that can surprise… but sometimes you can also scare. And sometimes it’s too late to fix it. The European way is not that of playing,” answered Mogherini.
Mogherini said she was surprised during recent visits to Beijing, New Delhi and Moscow, that all these countries want a “strong E.U.” and desire closer ties “not just in economy and trade, but security and humanitarian development, climate change, and foreign policy.”
“People want to work with European Union, not because they always like us… But in this geopolitical dynamic, being predictable, reliable and strong is an added value we should use,” said Mogherini
Mogherini said that Europe could “occupy the space” that is being vacated by Washington, which has enjoyed a thorny recent relationship with Brussels, over trade, NATO funding, and immigration.
“There is an opportunity for the Europeans and the European Union to position itself as a partner to all our interlocutors in the world, be it on the big global issues where maybe Washington is losing leadership,” Mogherini said.
Mogherini’s comments comes amid the negotiations on the protracted process of Brexit, accompanied by vocal statements from both U.K. and E.U. officials.
With emotions running high on the terms of the U.K.-E.U. divorce, and a suggested hefty exit bill of up to €100 billion (£84.5 billion/US$110 billion) being discussed, both sides have been making self-assertive remarks and accusations.
Those included that of the U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, who claimed the E.U. was trying to “affect the result of the general election” in the U.K. on June 8, and May being allegedly described as “living in another galaxy” after putting London’s expectations before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during talks in late April.
Most recently, Juncker on Friday joked that he would stop speaking English because “slowly but surely, English is losing importance.”